The Sixth Sense
surprisingly rare that films that are acclaimed for having trick
endings are truly startling.
The Sixth Sense has a genuine mind-blower of an ending.
You're lying if you say you saw it coming -- though in hindsight it
does make perfect sense.
The Sixth Sense
is the story of a Philadelphia boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees
ghosts everywhere he goes. Osment is truly conflicted, because his
father has left him due to his weird talent. He is so petrified
that he will be abandoned by his mother (Toni Collette, completely
unrecognizable from her
Murielle's Wedding days), that he tries to hide what is
happening from her.
plays a child psychiatrist who has lost faith in his talents due to
a failure to help a long-ago patient.
Osment is truly
mesmerizing as a tortured and frightened little boy - it's hard to
believe this is the same child actor who played
Murphy Brown's son
Avery. Osment's huge talent brings out a restrained and very
effecting performance from Willis. It's a pleasant reminder that
when he isn't being a big, dumb action hero, Bruce Willis can
actually be a very good and subtle actor.
The film has a
terrifyingly off-center atmosphere, lulling the audience into going
one way then whip smacking them back into another direction. The
city of Philadelphia seems in this film a disconcerting maze, where
common everyday household items somehow seem weirdly threatening or
When you get down
to it, beyond all the psychobabble,
The Sixth Sense is
essentially just an old-fashioned ghost story. But, wow, what a
ghost story! (8/99)
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January 12, 2018.